About Always Icecream

Always Icecream is a learn and play platform for young girls. Under the leadership of Dr. Johannes and Swenja Ziegler, parents of five, a team of educational experts including teachers, academics, and homeschooling parents, developed the "learn with fun" concept of Always Icecream.

Meet Our Founders

Dr. Johannes & Mrs. Swenja Ziegler
Swenja and Johannes studied at leading universities in Europe, the US, and Asia, including Stanford University, Tsinghua University in Beijing and the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem. They enjoy teaching their five children and working with an international team to create innovative forms of online and app-based learning. Swenja teaches piano and both Swenja and Johannes are active in the leadership at their local church.
Mr. Stefan Petry & Ms. Elizabeth Tse
Elizabeth and Stefan are raising a son and a puppy in the San Francisco Bay Area. Elizabeth grew up in a large family that valued education highly. She holds degrees from Yale and Cornell and is an advisor to the company. Stefan grew up in Europe where he worked with special needs children. He has a degree from Stanford University and works in marketing and product management.
Mr. David Hansen & Ms. Kjersti Bogaard
Kjersti and David raised two children and are now the proud grandparents of four girls. Kjersti has a teaching degree from Norway, with a specialty in early childhood education. Both in Europe and California, she has taught preschool and kindergarten, managed day care centers, and operated after school programs. David, UC Berkeley MBA and the son of two teachers, has been served education as a dinner topic his whole life.

The Team

Ashley Newman
Ashley has a degree in interdisciplinary studies emphasizing in special education from Stephen F. Austin State University, located in East Texas. She taught special education classes and groups in both inclusion and self-contained settings for five years, working with students of all ages and ability levels. She then went on to earn a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from Regent University, and is now in her fifth year of homeschooling her own two children.
Gabriella Volpe
Gabriella Volpe is a homeschooling mother of a child born with a chromosomal disorder, a certified teacher trained at McGill University in Montreal , Canada, and a homeschool consultant for families of children with special needs. She worked for 16+ years in the inclusive classroom with children of all abilities. She is particularly passionate about speech, language, and literacy development in children. As she helps her own son learn to communicate, she is also acquiring the fundamentals of ASL. Gabriella can be found at www.GabriellaVolpe.com
Daniel Ziegler
Daniel Ziegler, son of the founders, works as a technical advisor for Always Icecream. He has a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in Computer Science from MIT and is currently pursuing his Ph.D. at Stanford University. He was homeschooled during middle school, which enabled him to develop his programming skills at an early age. As a high schooler, Daniel represented the United States at the 2012 International Olympiad in Informatics. He is excited about the opportunity to use technology to give a better education to young students.

The founders, pictured above, were educated at top schools in Europe, Asia, and the United States. This fostered their love of learning that they want to share with the next generation of young learners.

Having tried numerous educational sites for their own children, they couldn't find any that combine safety, fun, educational value and wholesome peer-to-peer interaction. This was when the idea for Always Icecream (girls) and Clever Dragons (boys) was born.

A large international team worked on the development of Always Icecream and Clever Dragons. Stefan Petry (co-founder, COO) and Tobias Bielenstein (Communications) contributed not only with their professional insights, but also as fathers. David Hansen (co-founder, Marketing) shared his experience as a father and grandfather.

Further members of the team include Brhan Marcos, a German graduate student with Eritrean origin. She worked with Larissa Sheppard from Truckee, California, a 16 year old gifted drawing talent who developed graphics for the sites' virtual pets. The graphics concept and many of the site's illustrations were developed and implemented by Bastian Langguth and Nora Brandt.

The software development team led by Tobias Polley includes many award winners of national and international software development contests. Key contributors to the site are Thomas Köhn, Thomas Rehn, Martin Maas, Florian Benz, Christian Borkenhagen, Patrick Klitzke, Jan Gosmann, Klaas-Hendrick Poelstra, Marcel Jünnemann, Ludwig Schmidt, Julian Rüth, Christoph Flake, Meike Grewing, Fabian Heimbürger, and Daniel Ziegler.

Also part of the team are many elementary and middle school girls who helped with invaluable feedback and many ideas. Their important insights made Always Icecream happen as a fun and educational environment for girls.

Always Icecream is operated by Miaplaza Inc., an internet software development company located in Silicon Valley.
 

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